In 1862 Aasmund Olavsson Vinje named these mountains «Jøtunheimen», after the mythological Jotun – mountain giants.
There are only a few regions in the world where such a number of national parks lie so close to each other as in the area in which you are now. Between the national parks themselves, you will find places of cultural and historical interest, Norway’s greatest number of preserved buildings and living traditions related to local food, handicraft, music and hunting. In Nasjonalparkriket, you have the culminating points of Norway’s natural and cultural heritage to choose between. We have got what you are really looking for – real, genuine experiences that will stay with you. Welcome to the land of the national parks!
Mountain giants In 1862 Aasmund Olavsson Vinje named these mountains «Jøtunheimen», after the mythological Jotun – mountain giants. Today, Jotunheimen is the name we use for this magnificent mountain region featuring the highest mountains in Northern Europe. Most of the Norwegian peaks over 2000 m above sea level are in fact located in this area, with Galdhøpiggen at 2469 metres and Glittertind at 2464 metres being the highest. There are a number of glaciers in Jotunheimen. Between the high mountains and glaciers there are verdant valleys and beautiful watercourses with several large lakes. Gjende, which is the longest lake in the national park, is about 20 kilometres long.
Flora and fauna A number of Norway’s mountain plants can be found growing at the highest altitudes in all of Norway here in Jotunheimen. At Glittertind, the mountain plant Ranunculus glacialis can be found growing as high as 2370 metres above sea level. There is also a number of species of forest flowers that can be found in the highest concentrations in all of Norway here in this area. Among the lowland plant species there are lilies of the valley, strawberry, mezereon and a special mountain species of violet. The only forest in the national park is located in Gjende, where the birch forest grows as high as 1200 m above sea level.
The mammals and birds in the area are more or less the same as the ones found elsewhere in Norwegian high mountain landscapes. About 75 nesting bird species have been registered in the national park. All of the four large deer species – reindeer, elk, deer and roe-deer – are represented. Several lakes and watercourse in Jotunheimen are excellent sites for trout fishing.
Use of the mountain From time immemorial, the mountain has been linked to hunting, trapping, fishing and cattle grazing. On a tour through the landscape, one can often come across remnants of such earlier activities.
In Jotunheimen, the landscape is ideal for ski trips, walks, glacier crossings and mountain climbing, and since the middle of the 19th century, the mountain area has been a popular destination for persons interested in such recreational activities. At several sites, you can still explore seemingly «uncharted territory».
Conservation In 1980, an area of 1145 km2 in Jotunheimen was designated as the Jotunheimen National Park. At the same time, a 314 km2 area in the west was designated as the Utladalen Landscape Conservation Area. The conservation area has its own laws and regulations designed to protect the natural resources for future generations.
travel anywhere on foot or on skis,
have a picnic and pitch a tent,
pick berries and mushrooms,
hunt and fish in accordance with applicable rules and regulations – but remember to purchase a hunting or fishing permit.
You may not:
cause any damage to plants or unduly disturb any animals (including birds), travel with motorised vehicles on land or water (with a few exceptions), damage or destroy plants, living or dead trees and bushes,
break off stones or minerals,
introduce new plant species, animals or fish,
leave any type of garbage or pollution behind.
Fylkesmannen in Oppland County, Lillehammer
Fylkesmannen in Sogn/Fjordane County, Leikanger
National park warden Norwegian Nature Inspectorate Jotunheimen in Lom and Norwegian Nature Inspectorate Jotunheimen in Vang in Valdres, in collaboration with the mountain watch.
Small game and fishing On government owned common lands (about 99% of the National Park), hunting and fishing is administrated by the local Mountain board (separate office and oversight responsibilities). There are also hunting and fishing arrangements for most private lands as well. For more information, contact the person responsible for hunting and fishing permits in the municipality in which you wish to hunt or fish.
National parks in Norway – worth protecting The nature in Norway is magnificent and diverse. There are still a few selected areas in which nature’s own laws govern the growth and development of the local flora and fauna. Many of these areas are in danger of losing their unique natural qualities, if we do not make sure that proper conservation measures are taken. It is essential that a selection of each of the many different types of nature in Norway be protected so that later generations may also enjoy their beauty. In 1962, Norway began a process of creating national parks. The goal is to establish representative national parks and other protected areas in both coastal and mountain regions. In our national parks we want to protect the wide diversity of Norwegian nature, for the sake of both nature and ourselves. Coming generations have the right to experience pristine natural landscapes, and researchers must be able to study the biological processes taking place in such complex and natural systems also in the future. The national parks contain some of our most valuable natural treasures – let us protect and preserve them together!
Crossing glaciers and hiking You must never travel on any glacier without having the proper safety equipment, and you must always cross with an experienced guide. Remember that suitable equipment is of no use unless you have experience in using it. Carefully plan the clothes and equipment you bring with you on each and every trip.
Have a safe and enjoyable tour!